Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster by Jonathan Auxier is a beautiful story set in the middle of Victorian England. It brings up topics of child labor and anti-Semitism as this historical fantasy weaves aspects of the brutality of life as a chimney sweep with the Jewish mythological creature golems. The story feels like Charles Dickens mixed with a fairy tale.
Sweep is a tale of friendship and grief. Eleven year-old Nan Sparrow works as a chimney climber, a thankless and deadly job. After being stuck in a chimney fire, Nan is saved by a mysterious creature. This creature turns out to be a golem, who she names Charlie. Nan and Charlie take refuge in an abandoned mansion and grow their lives together in this poignant story.
Sweep reminds us that life can be heart-breaking. It reminds us that life is not always pretty, but it's better to confront these realities instead of pretending they don't exist. It shows us that even in the midst of grief and sorrow, there are hope, wonders, and miracles worth living for. We just have to look for them.
"We save ourselves by saving others."
This packet has 34 pages plus an answer key.